London pre-open: Stocks seen muted; borrowing figures in focus

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 23 May 2023

London pre-open: Stocks seen muted; borrowing figures in focus

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were set for a muted open on Tuesday as investors mulled the latest UK borrowing figures and continued to eye US debt ceiling talks.
The FTSE 100 was called to open just four points higher at 7,775.

Talks to avert a US debt default will remain in focus after Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden failed to reach an agreement on Monday.

On home shores, meanwhile, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed that net borrowing in April came in at £25.6bn, well above expectations of £19.1bn and up from April's £13.7bn. It was also above the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast of £22.4bn.

Still to come on the data front, the S&P Global/CIPS services and manufacturing PMIs for May are due at 0930 BST.

In corporate news, Upper Crust owner SSP said FY 2023 sales and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are set to be at the upper end of its expectations, as it hailed a strong first half performance "in a recovering market".

The company had guided to sales of £2.9bn to £3bn and EBITDA of £250m to £280m.

"Whilst we continue to face macroeconomic uncertainty, we believe that the travel food and beverage sector will remain structurally resilient to pressures on consumer spending and that our global footprint, with increasing exposure to the North American and Asia Pacific regions, will enable us to deliver sustained growth," it said.

"Progress in the first half of the year has been encouraging as we have maintained revenue momentum and have actively mitigated inflationary pressures to deliver a strong conversion of sales to profitability."

Elsewhere, Altice UK said it has increased its stake in BT Group to 24.5% from 18% but insisted it does not intend to make a full takeover.

Altice is owned by French telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi.


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